How does the Incubator in ARK Survival Evolved work?

Everything you need to know about the incubator

The Incubator in ARK Survival Evolved is a structure that was added with Genesis 2. It has proven to be the most handy tool for ARK Breeders in its very short time of existence. And this article will explain to you how it works.

How to get the Incubator

To unlock the Incubator you need to travel to Genesis 2 and be level 89. Even though the incubator looks relatively high-tech or even TEK, it is part of the industrial branch. Therefore, you only need to have unlocked the air conditioner to unlock the incubator. The incubator has a total of 10 places for eggs on two different shelves.

Once it’s unlocked, you can build it in the fabricator. You will need the following materials:

  • 500 metal ingots
  • 350 polymer
  • 200 crystal
  • 100 cementing paste
  • 250 electronics

You can build a maximum of 3 incubators close to each other.

How to power the incubator

When you place it, it requires access to electricity. This can be from a generator or even a wind turbine.  Although the wiki said that you don’t necessarily need electricity for the incubator to work, with my own tests running the incubator without electricity the egg lost life relatively quickly and stopped incubating. If the surrounding temperatures are ideal for the eggs anyway, this may be true, but then you would not need an incubator to begin with.

Stats and temperature in the incubator

As soon as you put an egg into the inventory of the incubator, and it is connected to the power, you can see a ton of information. On the one hand the colours and stats of the baby in the egg and on the other hand you get information about the temperature preferences of the egg. Don’t worry, you don’t have to change the temperature, but if you do change it to the preferred temperature of the species, you will get a 20% speed bonus for hatching. To change the temperature, use the wheel menu and add or subtract degrees to or from the initial temperature.

Interface of the Incubator in ARK

The egg is stuck in the incubator?

Once the egg reaches 0% in the incubator, you can’t remove it from it’s inventory anymore and you have to either hatch it or destroy it. 

A trick to still be able to remove the eggs is, by picking up the Incubator and then a lootbag will appear where the Incubator used to be. It will contain the eggs from the Incubator. This is only reasonable when you have the chance to infinitely pick up structures. 

How do I destroy all eggs in the Incubator at once? 

You can’t. I have reported this as a feature request, when Genesis introduced the Incubator into the game. It is an intended game mechanic for balancing reasons. So for now we are out of luck but maybe we will get it as a TLC in the future. 

Mammal buff of the incubator?

Now you will surely get annoyed and say “This is only beneficial for egg-laying dinos and I can’t check my mammals like this”. And this was also the case at the release date of the incubator. A few weeks after the release WildCard added a new feature with which you can, among other things, see the values of a baby when looking at the pregnant female. You can even cancel pregnancies if you don’t get the stats you were aiming for.

To do this you will have to stand at the incubator and give yourself a buff with its radial menu. The buff is then on you and lasts five minutes. You can then analyse the pregnancy and the stats of the baby within that timeframe with a new option in the radial menu of the female.

Gestation monitoring in ARK

This can save you a lot of time, because you do not have to wait for the complete pregnancy to see the stats. The female switches into the mating cool down afterwards, but the bottom line is that you save a lot of time. This helps you being more efficient.

Reset Gestation in ARK

You can finally see level points without mods

Another advantage of the incubator is that for the first time in ARK history you can see the level points of your stats. Before you needed mods or a third party tool. However, it can be pretty confusing what level points mean. On top, you maybe want to know the raw stats even when looking at the incubator. For this case we created a tool with which you can simply enter the stat-level, and it will tell you what your dino’s raw stats are. But in the long run it is much easier to calculate in stat levels than in raw values.

See stats of an Egg before it hatches in the ARK incubator

How do the color regions in the Incubator work?

All Dinos have 6 color regions starting at 0 and ending at 5 (programmers start counting from 0). Not every dino makes use of every region, but they will still be existent.  Each color region is represented as one field in the UI. The color within that field is the color ID. Color IDs are connected to the different colors in ARK You can see an overview over all colors here: 

ark color IDs
ARK color IDs
Source: arkutils

If you see a color that is not present on the parents, you know that this color region recieved a color mutation. 

The incubator is a helpful tool in the everyday life of a breeder. But of course it is not perfect because we still miss a “Destroy all eggs” button in the incubator. Clicking on each egg individually to destroy it is a bit time-consuming, and often you accidentally click on the wrong egg and destroy the one you want to keep. Potentially WildCard will add this one day. Who knows.

As you can see the incubator is really helpful when you want to progress more efficiently as a breeder and if you don’t want to babysit your incubating eggs in front of air conditionings.

Playing on console? No twins with the incubator 

If you are playing on Console right now? There is a bug where you will not be able to get twins or triplets with the incubator in ARK anymore. I have reported this bug a few times, but we will see if it gets fixed. Feel free to further report it to Wildcard. 

The tool talked about in this article

ARK Survival Evolved Incubator Calculator